News and Announcements
Updated March 24, 2016
Upon careful consideration of all the potential pros and cons of the various options laid out in my October 30, 2015 and January 6, 2016 statements, and after consultation with like-minded clubs in Illinois, Region II, and across the country, Team Chicago has made the following decision as it relates to team registrations for the 2016-17 season:
1) As a rule all age groups will move to birth-year teams.
This does not mean that players will necessarily play in their own birth-year as players might play up, or we might combine two birth-year age groups to create a competitive or viable team. As an example, it is likely that some “B” teams will be “two birth-year” teams to allow classmates to play on the same team and to ensure a full roster of players. And we might move a player up an age-group or two to create the most competitive “A” team possible in an age-group, or because that player’s talent warrants playing and training in a more competitive environment.
The main reason for this decision is that in order for our “A” teams to stay competitive at the state, regional, and national level we cannot afford to “play up” with teams that are considerably younger than the competition.
In our final assessment of the U7-U12 (2010-2005) age groups we determined that it will make the most sense to mirror the older age groups for the ease of transition in subsequent years.
2) “A” teams will train in the following “two birth-year” training groups (1998-1999, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2004-2005, and 2006-2007) with 2 head coaches – one for each birth-year team.
This is a necessity as the 1998 age group will only consist of players born August 1st-December 31st, and the 2002 age group will have 7/12 of the players in high school and 5/12 of the players in middle school thus missing more than half the players in the spring of 2017. One of the advantages of the training groups will be that the training environment will change every year as the players will alternate between being the younger and the older players in the training group. This will provide a fresh feel to the training environment and a more appropriate balance between “punching above your weight” and being a “big fish in a small pond” on a daily basis.
Please, note that we are not in favor of the U.S. Soccer mandate, and that we are simply trying to make the best of what we believe to be a poor decision. The only real advantage we see is that this will give us an opportunity to structure teams around the talent and commitment level of players to a much greater extent. Thus pairing like-minded players rather than merely pairing grade-level players.
The initial placement of the U17-19 (2000 through 1998 birth-years) girls’ teams in the Fall 2016 season has already been determined based on the Fall 2015 season results. The 1998 team will be an MRL Premier I and National League participant. The 1999 team will be an MRL Premier II participant. The 2000 team will be an MRL Premier II participant. The 1999 and 2000 teams’ placement could change to MRL Premier I as teams across Region II get restructured at tryouts.
The placement of the boys’ teams and the U15-16 (2002 and 2001 birth-years) girls’ teams will be based on the results of Spring 2016 season.
Also, please note that the age-group monikers have moved up a year, so the oldest age group is going to be U19 (1998s in 2016-17) instead of U18 currently. This does not mean that players will lose a season even though as an example some players will go from being U14 this year to being U16 next year.
Phil H. Nielsen
Team Chicago Soccer Club
Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia clinched the USYS National League U17 Girls Blue Division with an undefeated 4-0-3 record. This became a reality after this past weekend’s National League event in Las Vegas, NV.
Head Coach Dave Lovercheck led the team to a 2-0-2 record at the first event in Wilson, NC and then a 2-0-1 record at Disney in Orlando, FL back in December, The girls then had to wait for the final results at the Las Vegas event to learn if that was enough to secure the National League title and/or a spot in the USYS National Championships.
The National League title is the second in Team Chicago history following the Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo U18 title in 2013. That year Botafogo rode its National League title into the USYS National Championships in Overland Park, KS and completed the coveted double by defeating VSA Heat (VA) 2-1 in the championship final.
Brasilia will be looking to copy this feat as it heads to the USYS National Championships in Frisco, TX July 25-31, 2016.
A huge congrats to Dave Lovercheck and the Brasilia players.
Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro winger Riley O’Brien has accepted a great scholarship offer to continue her soccer career at Illinois State University. Riley, who plays her prep soccer for head coach Laura Wagley at West Aurora H.S., will be part of ISU head coach Eric Golz’s 2018 recruiting class.
The Redbirds are a perennial powerhouse in the NCAA Division I Missouri Valley Conference. At ISU Riley will join former Team Chicago standouts Kiley Czerwinski, Keely Theobald as well as Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia standout Ashley Santos who is part of the 2017 recruiting class.
Team Chicago Academy Olimpico traveled to Springfield,Illinois last weekend for the SASA invitational. The team breezed through group play and the semi-final scoring 20 goals.
The final turned out to be a larger task against USA Indiana Premier. Olimpico went down a goal early. Soon after, Brian Bertoni went in on a breakaway and evened the score. Unfortunately, USA scored two more goals before half-time making it 3-1. Olimpico battled hard in the second half to get back in the game and were eventually awarded a free kick within shooting range. Dawson Johnson stepped up and buried the ball in the upper corner to bring the team back within a goal. Shortly later Bobby Barnard scored a great header to tie the game. The game went to overtime and then penalties to decide the winner. Unfortunately, Olimpico came out on the short end of the shootout and lost.
The team also had outstanding goalkeeping by Alex Bass. Alex is normally a field player but stepped up when the starting goalie was out for the weekend after an injury in the first game.
Overall it was an amazing weekend for them and they should be very proud of their accomplishments.
Great Job Olimpico!
Team Chicago Academy- Palmeiras will travel to Las Vegas this weekend for the prestigious Players Showcase. This weekend our boys will showcase their talents for the top college programs in the country. In addition, the lads will be tested against some of the top club teams from the western region.
Palmeiras will start the showcase on Friday by playing Albion SC from California South in the morning. Then, the afternoon brings a matchup against Sereno which is currently ranked #6 in Arizona. Saturday will bring an end to group play with a tough matchup against Idaho Rush. Idaho Rush is currently the #1 ranked team in Idaho.
We wish our boys the best of luck this weekend in Vegas as they compete against some of the top teams in Western Region IV. Palmeiras is coached by Boy’s DOC Herb Schuler.